'Corporate America has no home in the Republican Party anymore': Rahm Emanuel

The Powerhouse Roundtable breaks down the latest news on "This Week."
16:16 | 04/04/21

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Transcript for 'Corporate America has no home in the Republican Party anymore': Rahm Emanuel
Major league baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the hard work of Georgians who were counting on the all-star game for a paycheck. You can't expect to take these extreme actions of limiting the access to the right to vote when we've talked so much about expanding the access of democracy and not expect that people like major league baseball will not take action in return. The latest fallout from that new Georgia law voting, and moving the all-star game. We're going to talk about it on our round table. We're joined by Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Yvette Simpson, and we want to welcome Sara Isgur, our newest ABC news analyst. Chris, let me begin with you. Was this the right move for the MLB? Listen. It's just a symptom, George. It's a symptom of what's going on in our country right now. Let's talk about what the Georgia law is really about because we haven't had much of that. Drop boxes become a permanent part of the landscape. They were not. They are now. Minimum of 17 days of early voting, including two Saturdays and two optional Sundays. You're going to have all voters having multiple ways to prove who they are, driver's license, even a utility bill or a free I.D. Provided by the state of Georgia, and voting is going to be from 7:00 A.M. To 7:00 P.M. As it is right now in Georgia. What is this a symptom of? I hate to say this. I listened to the president's inaugural address. Politics need not be a raging fire that destroys everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war and we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated or made up, and Joe Biden's broken his own rule. 84 days and now he's lying to the American people, George. He's lying about this bill. He's lying to the American people about it to cause the raging fire he said he was going to put out. I'm very disappointed. He made some misstatements about the bill. The bill basically restricts access to early -- not to early voting, but to absentee ballots, but it does expand early voting. It depends on how you think about it. You have to pick between a Saturday or a Sunday and what we know about early voting is a lot of folks appreciate, expect and depend on that weekend voting. We know Sundays are a lot of times when churches do voting. The fact you have to pick between the two is a challenge. It still does not address voter purging which is a big significant issue and there are not enough drop boxes, in fact. Part of the challenge was, yes, you've solidified, but you have not provided sufficient drop boxes for folks. Let's stop and back up and say, first the motivation was not to do more. The motivation was actually to do less. Voter fraud was not an issue, pand I don't think this goes far enough. What do we need to do to make sure early voting gets expanded? 17 days is not enough early Stacey Abrams was in new Jersey in my state praising Phil Murphy this week for a voting law where early voting is nine days. Half of what Georgia is. Yet she's on TV in New Jersey -- I saw it myself saying this is one of the greatest voting expansion bills we've ever seen, but this is Jim crow? I'm sorry, George. She's not for moving the all-star game. This isn't just major league baseball. It's delta, and Coca-Cola. It does appear here that corporate America is out of step with the Republican base. That's true, but Republicans have stumbled on a pretty good message here which is delta, coke, et cetera, these corporations coming out and condemning the Georgia bill which as you said is ridiculous compared to other states. Biden's home state didn't even have oriole voting and they won't have it until 2022. They're condemning this bill without understanding it. Joe Biden has been labeled as a liar for what he has said about the bill by the fact-checking organizations, and what about China? We have actual concentration camps going on in China and these corporations won't say word one about it, and the hypocrisy of that I think is very clear to a Republican base that this isn't about whether they feel strongly about a Georgia bill that doesn't do what the Democrats are afraid it will do, and it doesn't do what the Republicans want it to do by the way, but at the same time unwilling to say word one about China because that's where the money is. They wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't in their corporate interest. You have to do this in a lineage. When North Carolina changed their laws in relation to bathrooms and corporate pressures op isolating north Carolina, that's the situation here. It's a shout across the bar that they're trying to fix the problem that did not happen. Right. That's the fundamental. There was no problem and they're coming up -- they're coming up with a solution to a problem is that -- that doesn't exist and it's a shot across to other states. It's the fact the state legislature wants to overrule both the secretary of states. For one other reason I'll repeat last week. If Donald Trump won Georgia, there would be no change in the law. I think you have a very -- Joe Biden said it ended early voting. It doesn't end early voting. It expands early voting and the president said this ends it. He is doing exactly what he sat around in the campaign and the transition and accused Donald Trump of doing. He is lying to cause racial divisions in this country. That's what he accused Donald Trump of doing and he's a liar and a hypocrite. Why do you think major league baseball is making the move? It's a business judgment. They have to make a decision about what is in their best business interest. Doesn't that suggest that there's something wrong with the -- No. What that suggests is there's something wrong with the climate in this country. Ask the people who know. I have been doing voter protection for ten years. Just the idea that you can't give people water in line. That's not true. I have held people's babies while they go in to vote in order to get this. Do it by all -- That's just wrong. 150 feet where in New Jersey, in Chicago and any place else in the country, you're saying partisan groups cannot give out electioneering by giving out water. It's a stupid part of the bill, but it's not a threat to democracy. Every time you try to restrict voting rights, it's a threat to democracy. It's not even being addressed, the elephant in the room which is voter purging, 198,000 African-American Georgians from the rolls. I feel like a middle child at breakfast. Always. One is you said corporate America is is out of step in the Republican party. Corporate America has no home in the Republican party anymore, and they have to make a clear decision and it's a wakeup call. Joe Biden is not a liar. Yes, he is. We spent four years with a person who literally couldn't find the truth when it was in front of him in the morning. Joe Biden, you may disagree with his characterization. He is not a lie. You may disagree with his characterization. That bill was passed for one reason, and that's because Joe Biden won Georgia. And the two senators won Georgia. He lied, Rahm. He is not. Yes, he is. Let's talk about the infrastructure bill. We're seeing the first flurries of this. Let's begin with you. It appears Biden is going to go full speed ahead. The biggest, boldest program now, and not worried about getting Republicans on board. This is like when we saw Barack Obama in 2009. They went straight at Obamacare through messaging and a lot of consistent messaging from every person in the Republican party, and it drove down the popularity of that bill, so instead of it being a legislative accomplishment, it hung around the necks of Democrats. Republicans were talking about Dr. Seuss. It'll be very interesting. Mitch Mcconnell and Mccarthy, they want to go after this bill and message about how it's not really infrastructure, that only 5% is going to traditional infrastructure. Is the rest of the party going to follow suit or talk about the all-star game? You heard Roy blunt talk about the infrastructure. They know so much of the individual investments are popular. And they're no longer the party of physical restraint. Joe Biden if you want a 21st century economy, you can't have a medieval infrastructure. Jackson, Mississippi, you can't get fresh water. You can't in rural America get your child on the internet for school. All of us know parents can't get to soccer games on time and they have to budget an extra 20 minutes because of the congestion and problems. Another thing he has done well - at the white house, and on the relief bill, it was all about covid. On infrastructure, if you vote no, you're with China. If you vote yes, you're with America, and they're picking the right enemies for each of these battles. Chris Christie, Republican governors, not in exactly the same place. No. How many times have we said this on this program? If you are going to give governors, Republican, Democrat or independent, money from Washington that they don't have to get by raising taxes themselves? Amen, baby. They're all going to say it and I don't care if you are going to talk about the most conservative Republican governor in America or the most moderate. You're going to say give me the money. They don't have to raise taxes themselves, but here's the problem, and again, it goes along with the deceit of this white house, and there is no doubt there's deceit. The covid bill, a fraction of the covid bill was about covid. Now a infrastructure bill, and a fraction of this is about infrastructure. It depends on how you define infrastructure. Now the care economy is in that. I don't even know what the hell the care economy is. It's a huge part of infrastructure. You're a little worked up. I was praying already for you this morning, Rahm. Believe me. I can feel it. Let's talk about why this is important. We know that without ending the filibuster, we're not going to be able to get legislation passed outside of reconciliation, and so what Progressives are concerned about is you give moderate Democrats and Republicans everything they want in that bill and how do you get the things you need like medicare, extended child care, all the things that are human infrastructure, and the human economy? We're concerned it doesn't go far enough. In addition we need to make a bigger down payment or climate infrastructure. We saw what happened in Texas, and last year wildfires raged almost the entire pacific coast. We know we can talk about it in a vacuum and we can think about the fact that we don't need to do more, and then we see the real effects. Right now you talked about water in Flint, Michigan and the rural south still can't get clean water, and we need a real investment and that's what the thrive agenda is for. Sara, question. Is there a question -- I'll ask the question I asked Roy blunt at the top. Is there a chance the Republicans will pay a price for opposing a program that seems right now broadly popular? Well, again, go back to 2009. If they are able to actually message around this bill which I'm not convinced thy'll do, Christie makes great points, but you're not seeing Republicans make those points in a consistent, drum beat fashion, but what they were able to do in 2009 to Obamacare, paid huge dividends. That was one of the biggest Republican freshman classes in history. Republicans have a way to turn this to their political advantage. Will they take that and have they lost that moral high ground over spending when for the last four years they were on a spending spree and onald trump didn't care about spending? Comparing 2009 or 2010 and the midterm, the fact is this infrastructure is not about health care, and everybody who lives through the problems that we have around the transportation system, water system, internet or energy distribution, and that is a real, real problem in America and people know it has been. Does that mean health care workers coming out -- Here's the point that I think is important in this, and you get to the point of Republicans. What is designed in this bill, and you even see in the relief bill, 25% to 30% of Republicans support it. What the Biden white house is doing and still do -- what Biden has figured out is driving a wedge between the Republican establishment and Republican voters. Not only is he popular, but what he has done on the vaccine, and the economy, and the jobs numbers are going to give him further wins and this is why we have to make this investment and it's popular with Republicans. Republicans need to make the argument this is about 5% of $2.2 trillion goes to what he just talked about. Roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, internet. The rest of the bill goes to a lot of other things which a veteran is totally for. That's fine. Let's argue on the merits on those things and not call those infrastructure. The last point is this. If that brings up the filibuster, very important. The filibuster that Joe Biden supported, fought for, yelled and screamed for on the floor of the senate for 36 years, he now calls that Jim crow. What else is Jim crow to Joe Biden? He's not for eliminating the filibuster. Now. The talking infrastructure. I want to go back to what Sara said. Here's why I don't think Republicans are going to support it. They have set their sights on opposing everything Biden does because that's how they made the claim they will take back control in 2022 and 2024. It was interesting for Biden to put the things Republicans and moderate Democrats want in this moderation bill because if we can't go back to the well again, most Democrats know people need this. People over potholes. This is someone thing Republicans haven't caught up on which is really different. 2009 was a financially -- finance team-induced recession. This is a natural disaster. It's a different permission slip to deal with what's ailing America when you have a natural disaster for the virus. You see how we respond to new Orleans, California or Texas. People who are victims for no reason because of what happens because of a natural disaster. '09 was a banker-driven scandal, and then, people wanted to kill 500,000 bankers. That's different. Does that help Biden's case to get this done or hurt it? Honestly -- Was that an oy? Christie,do you want to comment? Very well put, Sara. Very well put. So glad we saw you last week. You're already a veteran. Ten seconds left. All right. Both sides are going to argue that this helps their case, that this is part of their message. The Republican base saying this is the trump recovery, and you have the Biden folks saying without me, it would be less than it is. I think in the end, you have another base election coming in 2022, the same thing we've seen repeated over and over again. You want to talk about the Republicans doing everything to stop Biden? Welcome to the last four years of the Democrat. That is going to be the last word in the lively round table.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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